Colonia marina PNF Genova di Chiavari

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Colonie marine -
Tyrrhenian Sea

other name:

Colonia marina "Gustavo Fara"

Chiavari (GE),
via Preti 15

client: Federazione dei Fasci di Combattimenti di Genova
architect:   Camillo Nardi Greco
year: 1935
capacity: 400


This high rise colony is a famous landmark at the coast of Liguria. Its dramatic height was probably due to the lack of building land at the rocky and steep coast.

With its continuous window coils it is similar to a light house and with its flying roof and railing like banisters it looks like a steamboat. The pediment repeats the prow like shape of the tower and reminds on Adalberto Libera's design of the Italian pavilion of the World Fair 1933 in Chicago.
Adalberto Libera, Italian pavilion, World's Fair Chicago, 1933
It houses the great dining hall, a communal room and principal's office. On the roof of the pediment lays a terrace. The eight storeys above contain dormitories for each 52 children as well as sanitary rooms. The shaft without windows on the backside houses the staircase and served as a space for the lettering and a stylized fasces.

Under stylistic points of view this colony of the Fascist party section of Genoa has to be valued as one of the "Futurismo" as well as the two murals flanking the entrances. These murals were from the artist Demetrio Ghiringhelli. One shows a futuristic wharf with two fighter planes abover, the other one symbolizes the Italian forces: the air force illustrated by a flock of aircrafts, the navy by some prows of battleships and the army by a number of tanks and guns. The murals were covered with plaster but lay partly open right now and are disfigured by graffiti.

For years the tower is a object of dispute in local politics. Several debates, exhibitions and conferences were held as for example to discuss the idea of converting the building complex to a hotel.

historical photos

free lightbox photo galleryby v6.1

photos Dan Dubowitz

free lightbox photo galleryby v6.1

photos Arne Winkelmann

free lightbox photo galleryby v6.1



layout ground floor

layout upper floor



bibliography: Cities of Childhood. Italian Colonie of the 1930s, ed. Alex Wall u. Stefano di Martino, London 1988, p. 26
La Colonia marina di Chiavari, in: Rassegna di Architettura, 1936, pp. 289-294
Colonia marina di Chiavari, in: Domus, no. 659, 1985, p. 12
Architetture per le colonie di vacanze, ed. Valter Balducci, Firenze 2005, p. 64
Architetture in Liguria dagli anni venti agli anni cinquanta, ed. Silvia Barisone, Matteo Fochessati, Gianni Franzone and Andrea Canziani, Milano 2004, p. 119
Sitemap - Imprint Arne Winkelmann